B2B Commerce Summit 2023 concluded in early September, and we were impressed by some of the insights we uncovered with our most trusted customers and partners. If you haven’t had a chance to watch our sessions, you can view them here.
However, if you are looking for a brisk overview and a handful of our most meaningful insights from the summit, here are the top 4 takeaways from B2B Commerce in 2023.
1. Speed-to-market as a competitive advantage
In our session with Bunzl and Valtech, Michael Max from Bunzl shared how out-of-the-box features helped them get to market quickly and respond to customer needs swiftly without digging into complex custom code that can be a roadblock to serving unique buying experiences at scale.
To better focus on the customer experience and serve a growing audience, Bunzl leveraged Optimizely’s out-of-the-box Configured Commerce solution. Bunzl wants to keep time spent in their system to a minimum – getting customers through checkout in less time while keeping ordering accurate and intuitive. To do this, Bunzl uses list management to make it convenient for customers to reorder and keep stores stocked.
Additionally, by investing in self-service, Bunzl makes brand interactions seamless allowing customers to order without the need to engage with a human -- putting the customer in the driver’s seat of their business and bringing new features to market quickly to improve buying experiences.
“The goal for our customers is to not have them spend their whole life making business purchases.” - Michael Max – VP of IT, Retail Region, and Digital Technology.
2. If you are not investing in mobile, you are falling behind
We heard from Optimizely customers Bunzl, Pet Food Experts, Royal Canin, and more that mobile commerce is core to their strategy moving forward. Customers are buying in an omnichannel way. In fact, omnichannel growth has doubled for B2B buyers. To appease these customers, your channels must provide a unified user experience with synonymous personalization, self-service, and checkout experiences. By lending a greater focus towards mobile, you improve the ordering process for both employees and customers, keeping users engaged and empowered to take action.
For example, Pet Food Experts deployed their mobile app prior to re-launching their e-commerce site. By taking a customer-centric approach to their mobile app strategy, Pet Food Experts made it easy for customers to scan products with their mobile phones and place “quick orders” directly from their personal mobile devices. Additionally, Pet Food Experts offers full list ordering capabilities to improve the efficiency of mobile ordering for customers.
3. Generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) is available, but you need a strategy
Large Language Models (LLM) in commerce are real, it is not hype, yet it is important to recognize how you want to use AI meaningfully before introducing it across your organization. Digital Commerce 360 reports that for customer service use cases, AI can instantly pull information from your FAQ pages, knowledge base, help center, or any other company page to serve customers in a conversational manner. By doing this, you empower your customer service representatives with more efficient access to information and therefore, solutions. Right now, Generative AI is being used, not to replace, but to complement employee experiences.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that Generative AI may be leading us to a vast increase in content production used for marketing. With this increase in content volume, the effectiveness of this content may drop – so if using LLMs (large language models) to generate content, ensure you weave your brand voice into the content you are producing.
4. To grow, identify program maturity and then outline specific business outcomes
In our final presentation of the B2B Commerce Summit, we touched on the topic of identifying your program maturity, understanding key levers to growth, and then recognizing what you must measure to grow a successful program.
As you invest in key areas in your digital commerce infrastructure, we built our B2B Digital Maturity Framework to outline business-critical functions and technical capabilities needed to build a foundation for optimal growth. Use this framework to assess your current maturity — defined pragmatically by Crawl, Walk, and Run — and what is needed to succeed at each consecutive phase of growth.
This year’s event was a stellar display of what Optimizely, partners, and customers are deploying in the field. We want to thank all of our customers, partners, and internal B2B evangelists for their expertise in this year's summit. In all, the B2B Commerce Summit reflects market activity that is proving successful.
As we look toward 2024, Optimizely surveys the market, technology, and strategies that are providing long-term value for brands serving B2B.
Looking for the full summit experience? Breakdown any of our B2B Commerce Summit sessions here.
Also, do not forget to join us at Opticon 2023 in San Diego, London, or Stockholm!